James Means: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

James Means Go Fund Me page

(Go Fund Me)

After a 15-year-old black teenager was shot dead, the white suspect allegedly said that he had gotten “another piece of trash off the street.” James Means was killed on the night of November 22 in the town of Charleston, West Virginia. The man charged with first-degree murder in the case is William Pulliam, 62. Pulliam told officers that he felt threatened by the teen. The pair had an argument prior to the shooting outside of a nearby store.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Means Wanted to Become a Mechanic & Open His Own Shop in Charleston

William Pulliam piece of trash

Pulliam pictured during his interrogation. (Screengrab via WSAZ)

Means had been a member of Dream Chasers, a group that teaches at-risk youths leadership skills. Founder Obi Henderson told WSAZ, “James was the kid that was excited about working, just working. James wanted to be a businessman and open up a mechanic shop.”

Means’ aunt, Teresa Means, told WSAZ, “James was an awesome kid. (He) could put a smile on anybody’s face, no matter the situation.” While his mother, Nafia Adkins, said, “My son is in a safer place now, and we all love him… We know that justice is going to succeed in this matter. We are not going to put it in our hands. We are going to let the law put it in their hands.”

The West Virginia Metro News reports that Means was “between schools” at the time of his death. Henderson told WSAZ about Means’ mother saying, “James had three other siblings. James’ mother is your average west side mother working diligently to provide for her children and so now she has figure out and develop resources to put her son six feet under ground.”

William Pulliam: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

William Pulliam, 62, is accused of shooting to death a black teenager, James Means, in Charleston, West Virginia. The shooting is being investigated as a possible hate crime.

Click here to read more

2. Officials Have Reached Out to the DOJ to See if the Shooting Qualifies as a ‘Hate Crime’

The shooting occurred at the intersection of Nancy Street and Washington Street East in Charleston. The pair had an argument outside of a nearby Dollar General store. Pulliam accused Means of bumping into him. Afterward, Pulliam went into the store and Means went to a nearby home, the home of a friend’s grandmother.

When Pulliam left the store, he passed by Means again. The two again exchanged words at which point Means confronted Pulliam in the street. That’s when the gunfire rang out. James Means was shot twice in the abdomen. He died later at Charleston Area Medical Center General Hospital.

When he was interrogated by officers, Pulliam admitted to the shooting saying that he “felt threatened.” He also allegedly described Means as “another piece of trash off the street,” according to the Associated Press. The agency quotes Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Ruby as saying that investigators are “in the early stages” of determining if this will be a hate-crime case.

Obi Henderson told WSAZ about these comments saying, “The fact that this man referred to two young African-American males, youth as trash is very disheartening and discouraging. … that in 2016, people walk around with such hate in their heart.”

Authorities have described Pulliam as having “no remorse.” Officials added that after the shooting, Pulliam went to have dinner at a female friend’s home, reports WCHS-TV. It was there that investigators found his .380 revolver.

3. Pulliam Was Accused of Punching His Pregnant Daughter in the Face in 2013

William Pulliam Charleston Police Department

William Pulliam’s mugshot. (Charleston Police Department)

The West Virginia Gazette-Mail reports that due to a previous domestic violence conviction, Pulliam is forbidden from owning a gun. In 2013, the newspaper also says that Pulliam punched his pregnant daughter in the face and kicked her in the stomach. He was sentenced to 36 days in prison and given a year’s probation for the crime.

One of Means’ friends, Teonno White, 14, told the Gazette-Mail that he’s had altercations with Pulliam previously. White says Pulliam would “pick on” White’s younger brother. The teen said, “One time I went over there to talk to him about it, I said, ‘You’’ve got to quit picking on my little brother, that doesn’t look right.” White says Pulliam replied, “[You] need to go on with my nappy Latino self. He’s just a real bad guy.” He added that he has called the police on Pulliam before.

Pulliam will be in court on December 1 at the Kanawha County Magistrate Court. He will be represented by a court-appointed attorney. The West Virginia Gazette-Mail reports that Pulliam has said he understands he could face life in prison if convicted. The newspaper also says that Pulliams “muttered something” about going on hunger strike.

4. A Go Fund Me Page Has Been Set Up to Help Means’ Family Pay for the Funeral

James Means William Pulliam

(Screengrab via WSAZ)

A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help Means’ family pay for his funeral costs. At the time of writing the page has raised over $10,000. The original goal had been $3,000. The tribute reads, “James Means ,a 15-year-old boy, was shot and killed Monday night. We could use your help with anything you can give , to provide a respectful memorial for this special young man. Thank you for all of your support, kind words, and messages. We are forever grateful.”

5. Columnist Shaun King Has Compared Means to Emmett Till & Trayvon Martin



In a hard-hitting column published after the shooting, the New York Daily News’ Shaun King wrote that “Means, like Emmett Till and Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin before him, did nothing to ever even warrant a confrontation from Pulliam. Witnesses claim that what set Pulliam off was that Means accidentally bumped into him while entering the store.” The column concludes with the words, “Now, instead of preparing for a Thanksgiving together, the family and friends of James Means find themselves struggling to make sense of how truly ugly our country can be.”

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  1. Waiting on whites to show and say “he din du nuffin I reckons!” and bring those bogus FBI crime stats to justify this murder

    • blacks robbed my house and set it on fire and broke my 15 year old brothers jaw during a robbery by pistol whipping him and have jumped him other times and blacks have pulled guns on me etc. Should I go on? Never have whites done this.

      • so the horrible actions of a few means that ALL black people are bad to you? if it were white people instead (and plenty of white people do the exact same shit), would that mean ALL white people are bad to you?

        no, I hope not at least, in either case.. it just means some people in this world are shitty and it doesn’t have much to do with their race at all but how they were raised and in what environment…

        now I actually do understand why you might develop a problem with black people, if only the criminal stuff that happened to you happened to be done by black people but I’ve got to ask, has it really only been black people doing it? or has it been MOSTLY black people? or just that they stick out because they might be different than you (I don’t actually know your ethnicity)? you do understand that just because a person is white, they aren’t somehow less prone to being a criminal, violent or not… (and vice versa)..

        now I said I can understand developing a problem with people of color, if you had the misfortune of only having people of color commit acts of crime and violence on you.. it’s not right, but it is understandable why that’d happen as it seems to you that there’s a pattern to it.. the thing is, a person’s race has nothing to do with violence or criminal activity at all. there are ALL kinds of good and bad people among all races.. I’m a 46yo white guy and have lived in poorer areas of my city populated with many different people of color and in poor mostly white neighborhoods, I’ve been attacked viciously by a white dude with a box cutter because I didn’t give him a smoke causing a joker style scar around my mouth, I’ve been held up at gun point by black youths, I’ve been robbed by both white and black guys… I’ve also been treated absolutely wonderfully by people of all colors in amazing ways. I’ve run into racist white guys and racist black guys.. what I’ve found is that color really has nothing to do at all with how a person is generally going to interact with you.. I’ve met hard working poor people and I’ve met criminal poor people, same with the middle class and rich as well. I’ve been robbed by nicely dressed people as well as people with tattoos and track suits.. it takes all kinds of people to make up any given race and most are generally very good people and there are very shitty people out there as well. you really can’t judge a book by it’s cover at all and honestly, that’s from my direct experience… and yeah, I’ve had a hard life overall…

        the thing is, while it’s understandable to start thinking that way, it’s still not right at all because basing your actions or reactions on any given person’s color isn’t going to help “protect” you as it leaves you open to maybe the white well dressed guy you’d least expect who’s picking your pocket or raping your grandma.. also, you are blaming another’s actions on a potentially innocent person simply because they have the same skin color when it’s not skin color that makes a person good or bad.. now what is true is that a person’s upbringing and social environment can help determine if they will perform a violent or criminal act in a given situation, tho some people just screw up and make bad screwed up choices here and there rather than being totally bad (usually out of desperation)… but it has nothing to do with their DNA.. there is no “easy way” to tell if a person’s good or bad, period, not their race, not how they dress, not what music they listen to. and not where they live…

        scapegoating any race is wrong, regardless if white, black, brown, yellow, red, pink, etc. it’s wrong not only because ethically it’s wrong but it’s wrong because it’s not at all a way to tell anything about how good or bad a person is or if they will commit violence or a crime on your person… there are ALWAYS exceptions to any rule… and just cause you’ve only had black people do violence or crimes against you so far, it doesn’t mean at all that the next person who does will be black, they could easily be white or asian or whatever.. I wish you had some of my experiences as I’ve had a lot of exposure to many different cultures both positive and negative here in the USA, if you had, you’d see that in general, most people are good and color isn’t something to really divide up people into groups with and then label them with all the same attributes… humans have an innate fear of “the unknown” or “the other” and it’s easy to put it all into the same negative box but with the unknown can come wonderful things as well as bad things, simply being “unknown” isn’t something to fear or assume it will only be bad..

        I hope this made some sort of sense. I really have studied my own innate prejudices throughout my life, thankfully early on I had plenty of positive experiences with different races and cultures, even with my small town mostly white middle class upbringing, before any of the negative one’s happened, then I moved to the city when I was 20, and it further opened up my eyes as I was exposed to an even wider variety of cultures in mostly positive and sometimes negative ways… that’s what’s helped me get over it and see things the way I do.. I’m not some limousine liberal who’s chosen a certain way of thinking from their sheltered bubble, my views come from actual direct experience over a long life..

        so I feel bad for those people, of any race, who’s only exposure to other cultures and races have only been negative… because it helps form an incorrect and incomplete picture of the actual world we live in… where people are just people, some shitty and awful, some good and awesome… I can understand forming those feelings based on those experiences but it’s the same thing as maybe playing craps and only ever rolling snake eyes and thinking that’s the only way the game ever turns out when that’s just simply not true… it may be true for that person, so far, but overall that isn’t the usual experience…


    • Don’t make nasty comments like that, it doesn’t help the black or white community when you do it. It just fuels the flames for the ignorant and bigoted in this world, of all colors.

    • Any why are FBI statistics bogus? Do you have better data of crime committed in the US than the DOJ/FBI does? If so please do share!

  2. 1). He didn’t say he felt ( allegedly ) threatened !

    2). He said he felt threatened !

    3). ( THE MEDIA !!) Claims William Pullam statement to the police ; (another piece of trash off the street !)

    4). This is another why that (THE MEDIA! ) is Fanning the Flames of racism in the United States.

    5). By using the word ( ALLEGEDLY ! ) : To convince others of a make-believe statement by the accused.

    6). The media cannot prove that statement to be true !

    7). But !! The media hopes to achieve the outcome it is looking for ! and ;

    8). That is to create more racial tension ,racial divide in our country.

    9). The media should be charged with incitement !

    10). With there alleged willingness to distort the truth !

    11). And putting peaceful Americans at risk of harm .

    12). For allegedly ; trying to create a civil war in the United States.

    • its so obvious what they are doing, they wont wait for any facts to come out , they want to push a narrative.
      thats all the media does, there could be hundreds of shootings from various ethnic groups, the media will deliberately ignore those shootings and wait until its black vs white to inflame feelings of racism.

    • 1) he said he felt threatened that there were three men, most likely being aggressive towards him, on the street. This wasnt about race, but what would you do if you were approached on the street in a threatening manner by 3 men (regardless of their age).
      2) the media is the only ones who have supposedly “confirmed” his “another price of trash off the street” statement, not the police. Also, this so-called reporter, shaun king, injected his own wording to indicate he said something about black when that has never been said by any other source.
      3) Don’t forget that Shaun King, who has never set foot in Charleston, WV is reporting on this story as if he was a first hand witness. I will guarantee he has never talked to any witnesses, or anyone involved with the case. Why do these reporters only “report” on conjecture???

      Why have no reporters interviewed anyone who knows Pulliam? They keep referring to some legal issue with a domestic battery case in 2013 and then added that he also hit his wife at this same time; this supposed incident has never been brought to light on any local or national news source, why? With the media literally ready to plow through any white person in a white on black crime, Im surprised this supposed 2013 assault instance hasnt been plastered all over local and national media… BUT IT HASNT… why is that? However, Pullian has stated time and again that he has no record at all. I would think the national media would have jumped on this to discredit him.

      a 62 year old man, confronted by 3 teenage boys. I’m sorry, but there is a lot more to this case. Im sure Pullian didnt just walk up and shoot Means when he was just walking down the street. And supposedly there has been “reports” of problems from Pullian only reported by the cohorts of Means. That is so incredibly slanted it’s ridiculous.

      Maybe if those teens would have been minding their own business instead of acting in a manner they shouldnt have, this wouldnt have happened in the first place. And if Means didnt have a gun, or some other object, why is it slowly coming out that ONE of the cohorts gave “something” to Means to use!

      And one other thing… what does it mean when it says Means was between schools? How the hell is someone between schools. He is 15, he should have been in school. He didnt recently move to Charleston, he isnt in college, what does it mean “between” schools. Was he expelled? was he suspended? Is he being required to attend a different school? and if so… WHY? What did he do? Means’ background definately needs to come to light by a respectful journalist.

      This case will never go any further than a white man shot some poor innocent black person. Regardless if we find out there was extenuating circumstances, it wont matter.

    • I agree. The white guy is automatically being portrayed as bad by the dishonest media. There is more to this story. It seems apparent that Means was looking for trouble. The fact that they are portraying Means as angelic is BS. He was “between schools”. Sounds like a drop out to me. Was he a thug, burglar, punk? His parents are already grifting.

      • The “more to the story” is that because of that white racist’s previous domestic violence conviction, he wasn’t even supposed to HAVE the gun he had.

        And because the white racist felt “so threatened”, he WAITED for the teens to approach him instead of just leaving the scene.

        The dead 15-year-old victim is not the one on trial here.

        Sounds to me like you’re grasping at any straws you can find to try to exonerate the racist killer.

  3. The trash bag puliam, punched his pregnant daughter & hit wife who was trying to save her. he was convicted for that. The media is not claiming all white people are out to get black people, they are showing you this particular Filth & excrement of society is lower than a cockroach.

    the actual piece of shits below who are commenting that the media should be tried, are just some scummy Alt-Right wannabe cuckoos.

    • It has never been confirmed that this ever happened. No local or major national news resource has reported on any kind of past legal proceedings. Wouldnt you think the media would have jumped on this to discredit him. Especially after Pullian has said time and again that he has absolutely no record at all.

      • “It has never been confirmed that this ever happened.”

        You’re just too lazy to look for it — and too busy trying to make excuses for the white racist killer.

        The reason the DV conviction is relevant is because as a result of it, he wasn’t even supposed to have the gun he murdered his 15-year-old victim with in his possession.

        But the DV conviction is a matter of public record, and anyone can file an FOIA request for it and get it (at least till Trump takes office, and he starts further suppressing evidence of his and his lackeys’ improprieties, racist activities, material conflicts of interest, and country-bankrupting practices that he doesn’t want the public to know about).

        Just because you’re too lazy and invested in making excuses for the white racist killer, it doesn’t follow from that that evidence of his prior criminal offenses doesn’t exist.

  4. The kids folks were quick to get out a photo from when the kid was 8 or 9 years old….if you do a little of searching on the net ,CURRENT photos show up….Definately a different looking guy…SCAREY

    • Exactly!! Why do these cases always use a childish, innocent looking picture to make this kid seem like they were out minding their own business playing in the street and someone just pulled a gun and shot them. Seems like this case would take on a whole different meaning if CURRENT pictures were used.

    • Exactly. The typical media psy ops is taking place. Nice younger picture, “aspirations of a carrer”, “between schools”(like he was on a sabbatical from Harvard?), picture of crying mother, ad nauseum. Lets see what real facts come out before the white guy is lynched.

    • Oh – like the white racist killer doesn’t look scary in his orange murderer’s jumpsuit with those “I hit women” bags under his dead eyes.

      And like Brock Turner, the white Stanford swimmer who raped that other student, wasn’t shown in every picture in jacket & tie until his mug shot was demanded by the free press.

      Where are you typing from, your mom’s basement?

      /come on, son

  5. Every single (very rare) White-on-black violent incident is a national news story.
    Common-place black-on-White violent incidents are swept under the rug (hush crimes).
    We aren’t stupid; we see through this baloney.

  6. Yeah, bet Omabo would think he was his son, going to Harvard when he graduated HS, an AP student, a gospel singer and fed the poor.
    Just like all the other little thugs that got capped for inciting violence

  7. Is he emmit till, a victim from the civil rights era, or Trayvon Martin, a thug who jumped a man and brought about his own death? Interesting question. The facts tend towards thug: There was a confrontation, the man went inside and Means approached him to restart the confrontation.

  8. We need more information. Pullman walked into a store, and then came out later and that James and he got into another confrontation. Were they both walking the same way, or did the James wait for him to come out of the store. I am not saying it’s okay to kill anyone, just need more information before passing judgement, no matter what color that person’s skin is. Sometimes we as human beings, need to learn to just walk away from each other when tempers flair. In this situation, no one wins; one is dead, and the other will probably go to prison. It’s a sad state all around, and keeps occurring in today’s environment more and more.


      • He wasn’t even a cop. He was a man who’d been convicted formerly of domestic battery, and as a result of that he wasn’t even supposed to have the gun he committed that homicide with, killing a 15-year-old victim.

  9. America bombs nuclear bomb in Hiroshima kills millions of people. America wants to bomb Iraq, then say oops it was a mistake. They want to bomb Afghanistan because of one man that they recruited. They now wan to stick there noses in Iraq again against ISIS where it never was a threat to America. America thinks that it could get away with its crimes. It cant even clean their filth off their own streets. What a stuffed up country and now you got a horny incest red neck pig as a President and an ex- Porn star as the first lady. Racism everywhere. God sends punishments in all sorts of ways, through people killing each other, or mostly through natural disasters such earth quakes hurricanes tornadoes etc. There will never be piece in racist America

    • Get your facts straight. I will dismantle your first erroneous point. The US used A bombs to end war with Japan and it probably saved 10 million Japanese lives and possibly 1 million US casualties. The US military manufactured 500,000 Purple Hearts for the casualies expected with invading Japan. The US is still drawing from this same Purple Hearts inventory. The Japanese were the biggest racists of all time killing millions of “inferior” Chinese civilians, Papua New Guneans, Koreans, Vietnamese and other native people.
      Sounds like you dont know what a racist is or more likely you are projecting we what you in fact are.

      • You’re screeching up and down this thread trying to mangle the narrative of what really happened when anybody with a functioning brain can Google the actual facts or get the facts from any local paper. Why are you so invested in spreading those falsehoods? Were you there? Are you related to this white racist killer?

        You’re the racist. Go back and sulk some more in your mother’s basement where you belong. Don’t come out and try to spread flat-out lies and stir up violence and disrupt the rest of us who are trying to create a peaceful society where ALL people can live in peace and thrive, as opposed to just white people.

        (If your white racist killer friend was so “threatened”, why did he WAIT for anyone to approach him, as opposed to trying to just get away as fast as possible, as reasonable people do when they / we feel threatened? It couldn’t be because he was spoiling for a fight, could it? Trying to find some excuse to shoot a 15-year-old kid because he knew scum like you would bend over backward to make excuses for him? /hmmm)

  10. Dont have enough facts to make a proper determination. However, the fact that Means was “between schools”, suggests something. Another Trayvon Martin burglar thug? The 10 year old picture is trying to evoke sympathy. Family already is starting to grift money. There is more to this story than an alter boy being shot by a “redneck”.

  11. What I don’t get is why there is a 5 fast facts on Pulliam, then there is a 5 fast facts on Means, but its really just 5 fast facts on Pulliam again. As an example what does Means look like now. We have a picture of Pulliam in a jail jump suit and what I have wonder is a childhood picture of Means. Why not show a childhood picture of Pulliam? (I Know that an overstatement but why not just be fair in the reporting?) Trayvon Martin’s initial pictures were from when he was like 8 years old or something…only later did we see him in pictures with guns throwing gang signs. This guy is clearly not a winner…what kind of dirt bag do you have to be to beat your wife and pregnant daughter??? At the same time something tells me this kid may not be a perfect little angel either. When I was that age I steered clear of angry weird old men.

  12. what a shame. a white guy kills one black guy for bad reasons and it is a huge story, because the media wants to incite race wars as it sells papers and everyone can point at Trump (for no reason). meanwhile, in cities all over the country, blacks kill blacks and whitey too, at an unprecedented rate, but no one seems to care about that. this is no big deal…happens all the time. it was just a white shooter this time. you blacks want a race war? you are being provoked by the white run media into commiting more murder, so you can be put into white run prisons for a profit. do not buy the hype.

    • Too true. White guy kills black kid and you get front page news and hate crime allegations. Dozens of black kids kill dozens of other black kids and hardly a blurb beyond the local news. I also love that they always use the worst possible picture of the white guy and an angelic (and very old) picture of the black kid. Maybe he was a saint…but with the unbalanced coverage by the media I always have to wonder. The only upside here is the white guy was illegally in possession of the firearm so he is going to jail one way or another and we do at least know that he was in fact a scum bag. Hits his wife and pregnant wife? Lock him up…throw away the key. Hate crime? Tired of hearing the term…just arrest the criminals and stop with the politics.

  13. You lost me with Shaun King. He’s a white guy trying to be a black guy and totally unreliable. This is an outrageous killing, Pulliam needs to pay for this. He’s not a small man. How could he feel that “uncomfortable”? This was over and Pulliam rekindled it after he left the store. Lock this guy up and throw away the key.

  14. The 15 year old had a gun. He pulls it out and his friends even encourage him to shoot the white guy. The white guy does walk away and go into a store, after leaving he tries to avoid the teens. they approach him again and at this point he knows his life might end this time and makes a life saving decision.

  15. Do you not want to mention the person shot had a real looking gun on him and that he was the aggressor? Not defending the shooter as he seems like a POS, but this story is one sided

  16. This country has to wake up from all this hate and stupidity.everyone deserves to be successful and live their lives in the fullest instead of this disgusting hatred of others.we all want the same thing in liberty and hurts me deeply that we as humans are so divided

  17. Yeah, black guys kills whites but goes to prison. It is harder for blacks to get justice. Also, blacks get longer sentences as well. To get justice blacks have to pretty much beg. Nice try white people but stop while you are ahead. I am sure if I killed your kid you would cry for justice. Why don’t you allow me to shoot your kid and kill him since it is ok?

  18. Two women I know of were gang raped by 5 black men one was asleep in her apt. The other was lured to an empty house. It’s the sad truth.